It turns out, I am not the voice.

Another week filled with medical news and hospital updates for us.  After another four days sat waiting for further scannage, my Mum is finally home.  Hopefully now, she can enjoy a pain-free, non A&E Christmas!!  Let’s hope I need blog of hospitals, doctors or the like for quite some time now.

Oli at 8 weeks
He used to look like this.....

You haven’t had an Oli update for at least a few hours so I’ve done some videos of him for today’s post.  I am aware that I am becoming a bit of a bore when it comes to Oli.  We were out last night (more of that later) and I found myself showing folks photos and videos of him on my phone.  If that was you I apologise, and the search for my life continues!

Yesterday Oli and I ventured out onto the local park in the freezing cold and snow to get him nice and dirty ready for his bath when we got back in.  Post bath, once he’s shaken himself over every inch of the house we then always put the fire on so he can dry off nicely!  It makes him all sleepy!

Once he’d had a little nod and got all nice and fluffy again, he was ready for a roll around on the rug, and if you have the patience to stick with this one till the end, he does like to torment a cat or two when he’s in the mood.

Enough of me being a dog bore!!  Let’s move on to me being a bore about other subjects!

We had a night out last night.  That in itself is quite unusual, but in light of recent events and malcontent, it turned out to be what’s called a “nice change”, even if we were perhaps not the world’s most exciting company.  Our lack of practice at this stuff meant that Louise and I were ready for bed at around 10pm, and had to dig deep for a second wind, which spookily I rediscovered this morning on the loo after too much Guinness!

The evening started off with chatter, some lovely food, and drinkies.  It slid inexorably towards silliness through a Christmas quiz, boys versus girls, in which the male types prevailed (what do you mean I shouldn’t have been Googling for answers on my phone?  that’s called being resourceful), a brief stop at Pass the Parcel, which somehow involved taking shots on board with every layer removed, and then inevitably towards the messy car crash that was SingStar.

Having avoided the microphone quite well for some time, the fickle finger picked me out eventually, and as a decent representation of my luck right now, it was no easy ballad in my key (Wandering Star would have been nice) I was landed with a song that no male on the planet is able to sing without surgical alteration.

Thankfully, by this time, everybody was on the wrong side of sober, and didn’t notice me miming like some sort of slightly flabby, paler Milli Vanilli.  I then bowed out gracefully to witness renditions of true Karaoke classics, rounded off by the loudest version of Never Forget since the last time someone did it on Karaoke.  Somehow it became 2am, and we taxied ourselves home and fell into bed.

So today is one of those lazy days with Christmas films on the telly right now (The Grinch currently), with Emily and her friend Laura regressing from sixteen to six again.  Rebecca has gone back to bed after her night out at a party last night, and Louise also seems to have retreated under the duvet, having told me she doesn’t know why she is hung over!!  I suppose if you get so drunk that you can’t remember you were drunk then that makes sense??

I finish for Christmas on Thursday and never have I been so happy to not be at work, as I will be at that time.  I continue to work on my escape plan.  Next Sunday is the big day, and that means there shall be no bloggage on that day.  I warn you of that fact as I know you’d all be rushing to your computers to read it otherwise, sacrificing the Queen’s Speech for Mkingdon nonsense.  What else would you be doing?

As I’m going to be off work for the duration, you will never know when one of these inane posts will appear over the festive period.  It shall be like some unwelcome relative turning up on your doorstep unannounced.  You have been warned.

Till the next time….

I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll photograph your door!

How’s your Sunday been?  I have spent mine taking photos of doors.  No, worse than that, I have spent mine watching someone take photos of doors!!

I’ve been driving Emily around trying to find her interesting doors to take photos off.  This isn’t some sort of Jim Morrison pilgrimage, no, it is for her Photography course.  Her first project is on the subject of doors.  You would not imagine the numerous ways, angles, scenarios and locations in which one can photograph a door.  I do.

I have had to explain several times to worried looking residents/park keepers/pub owners that we are not casing the joint in any way.  We are not some sort of Kick Ass style father and daughter crime team.  Instead, I have a daughter lucky enough to be able to study something she likes.

Anyway, here are a couple of my favourites.  I have no idea if they are any good from a technical point of view, but I like them.

Emily door 1

Emily Project 2

There are 136 others that I shall not share!!  By the way, both of those were taken at the local church were Louise and I were married!  Cute innit?  It was a new build back then.

Emily’s interest in photography is going to cost me, literally.  She feels she now needs to progress onto to a “proper camera” and get an SLR, rather than the bridge she has right now.  That’s her Christmas sorted out then.

For those of a photographic bent, she is probably going to get a Nikon D3000.  I’ve spent most of this week consulting with my vast army of photographic expert friends….both of them!!  The chances of me blowing one of my xmas gifts on something for school back in the day would have been nil.  This is mainly as I took History, Economics and English Lit!!  These new fandangled subjects!!

Rebecca is much more traditional in her giftage.  Yep, quite predictable really.  Just an iPhone 4S please Dad!!  Nice.

Oli’s growth continues in Digby style progress.  He doesn’t like going for baths, as evidenced by the look in his eyes here, which says, just wait until I’m bigger than you!!

Oli after bath
Revenge shall be mine!!

He really has become part of the family now.  I shall take a chance and declare him fully house trained!!  He has been for a good few weeks now, but the real proof was that we woke on Friday morning to find him lay at the side of our bed fast asleep.  Some idiot had left one of his cage doors open (dunno who that might have been!!) and he had at some point in the night wandered out and settled down in our bedroom.

Not one piddle or poop was had until we got up and let him out the back door.  He shall be allowed to stay after all.

Later tonight, the reality TV trilogy is complete with the arrival of the Jungle thing.  With Strictly, X Shambles and I’m a Celeb, there shall not be one inch of TV between now and Christmas without some celeb gyrating or eating something unmentionable or a celeb wannabe making something their own.  As you may have noticed, my tolerance for X Factor is very low, but now I am officially middle-aged I can tolerate Strictly most weeks, and, not that I will have a choice, but I can watch most of the Jungle stuff without poking my eyes out with a rusty fork.

I already know who we shall be supporting.  In our house it goes off who is “fit” and therefore Emily has declared that the Williams household shall be team Poynter.  For those who don’t know (yet) who he is, he plays bass in McFly.  It would seem that McFly have decided to embrace reality TV in a big way whilst still actually in the middle of their careers rather than after them.

Without getting too analytical about this (I don’t wish to appear sad!) but this is quite astute really.  As they mature, and leave behind some of the tweens they built their careers on, they now need to establish a wider fan base, who will buy their albums for the next ten years or so.  You may not remember that Danny off of McFly did the Popstar to Opera Star thing, Harry is currently in Strictly having to dance with that ugly bird with the bright coloured hair(!!), and now Dougie does the Jungle.

At the risk of extending this image of being a sad git, I quite like McFly.  They write some “proper songs” with  melodies and choruses, like in the good old days.  We are almost related too, as Danny’s Mum & Dad live around the corner from Louise’s Mum!!  I’m not one to name drop of course.  See, I can be in touch with the kid’s music in some instances.  However, in other instances, I can only shake my head at the ludicrous nature of the music industry, as evidenced best by the mere existence of Professor Green and his comedy rap accent.  He’s like a character off a comedy sketch show!!

As someone once said, Pop will eat itself.

Till the Next Time……

A party, and people looking at a pair of puppies.

So as I come to fill another blank post with nonsense, I am on the couch, with Emily sat three feet from the TV, watching Peter Pan for the gabillionth time.  Her crush on the actor playing Peter is beyond measure.  The fact that he’s now 37, bald, and sixteen stone is something that I will keep from her for a little longer.

peter pan
and she hates Wendy!

I think that watching the same thing over and over is something that the generation younger than me have perfected.  It is only in the last ten to fifteen years that it has seemingly become acceptable to watch the same things again and again.  I suppose with advent of 24 hour TV and hundreds of channels, there would never be enough content to fill them all with unique stuff.  I admit to watching the odd episode of Champion the Wonder Horse more than once in my youth, but really, my girls have seen some films literally dozens of times, and still seem  happy to sit through them again.

It all started with Barney for us.  Every breakfast time, we were subjected to that overly sweet subject matter, and by the time they were ready to progress onto something slightly more mature, we’d seen every episode a good twenty times each.  As for episodes of stuff like The Suite Life of Hannah McGuire or whatever gets played on the Disney Channel, well, there are several episodes of those that I know all the words to.

We’ve just sat through most of Open Season, and all of the Grinch, as it seems today has been a relative day of rest following a very busy Saturday, and last few weeks.  This is because yesterday we hosted the party for Louise’s Mum’s 80th.  This involved over 40 folk cramming into our house for several hours.  It also involved about three weeks solid prep, and about six hours of the hardest work I’ve done in a while.  Constantly topping up everyone’s glass, warming and serving food, all whilst navigating a house made for four not forty is bloody hard work!

Mary's 80th party
See if you can spot me...

It all went very well to be honest, and the birthday girl was delighted.  All the guests seemed to enjoy themselves, and we kicked the last ones out (politely) at around 8pm, having opened the doors just after 1pm.  We were absolutely shattered!!

As you can imagine, this morning consisted of much tidying of all varieties.  We escaped with a small amount of collateral damage to the house it seems, and I’ll be ready to do it all again in another 80 years or so.

Today then, having reconstructed the house, returned the glasses we hired, and undertaken the big shop, the day has been quite restful.  This afternoon we went to a local park with Oli, and met up with my brother and his family, so that Oli could meet his cousin, Baxter.  He is a couple of weeks younger than Oli, and if Oli had a pocket, Baxter would quite easily fit inside it.

Still, they seemed to get on OK, after an initial bit of timidness on both sides.  Oli is a big softie, and when out for walks will sit down and wait for a car to pass as he isn’t keen on the noise.  This can make walks last about two weeks each.

Anyway, he doesn’t mind actually riding in a car, and here is about to set off for the park.  Ignore my hand showing at the top of the pic, I was trying to block out the low winter sun which was coming in right down the camera.

Oli at car
Mondeo Mutt

Once we got to the park, this is the calm, sedate way in which Oli and Baxter introduced themselves!!

With two little cuties with us, our walk around the park was constantly interrupted with folks wanting to have a look at the puppies and have a stroke.  Louise, and my sister-in-law Paula got very bored and quite chilly, and so declined most requests!!

So with my thanks to Ronnie Corbett for that last gag, I shall leave you again.  Frankly, I’m just too knackered to keep pressing these keys all the way down.  Luckily, work swings around again tomorrow, so that will make everything alright again.

Till the next time…..


Woah, what a feeling, when I’m rollering the ceiling!!

If you are likely to be bored by updates on the growth of Oli, then this week’s bloggage may not be for you.

I’m taking photos and video to track his growth, as this is something we didn’t have with Henry our last dog. This was because the technology was much clunkier back then in the good old days of 1997, and at the time we had a new-born baby and an eighteen month old. So add a new puppy to that and we barely had time for our nervous breakdowns.

Here is the little (big) chap playing on Saturday afternoon. All the female folk were out clothes shopping. Rebecca needed a new winter coat and Emily yet more jeans. I stayed home with the big fella and watched the footy with him.

I keep telling myself, that it is too early to say what I’m about to, as it will surely bite me on the arse, but he does seem to be house trained now. We have to still make sure we have him outside regularly, but he knows to wait until we do, so as silly as it might be to assume the worst it over, it looks like it might be.

Again, at the risk of premature announciation, he is also very good generally. He’s fairly calm for a puppy, doesn’t mind spending time alone in his crate when he needs to, and generally is pretty chilled. Cue the next week being the one where he destroys the house and undertakes some sort of dirty protest!

Thursday sees him being walkable. I know of course that I’ll be the idiot out with him at 6am every day once the novelty of day three has worn off, but it will make it easier all round.

The decorating of the kitchen has continued this weekend, and my contribution has been to paint the ceiling. I have a sore neck and a desire never to paint again. Louise has worked really hard on the rest, and it needs just the finishing touches now. It looks lots better of course, but nothing will ever justify the living hell of undertaking any decorating whatsoever. What do you mean that may be an over exaggeration??

Poor Emily is ill. She’s got tonsils like space hoppers and a snot filled nose. She is rubbish at being ill though as she struggles to swallow tablets. Anyway, she’s been to the doctors and got some antibiotics. She is gutted though as normally (since she was a toddler) she has had banana flavoured medicine. For some reason this time it is strawberry and tastes, and I quote, “grim”. Yes, she is 16!!

Sunday has seen me finally put the 2011 trip report to bed. It is a relief to be honest. My oft mentioned OCD about stuff being an incomplete state has not made this easy. To return from holiday on the 13th of August, and not complete the trippie until mid October is something of a new record, but hey, I’m busy!!

I do need to thank everyone (again) for the reading of the trip reports and these ramblings. As much as keeping up with stuff is a pain, I do enjoy writing, and would, given any sort of chance, like to have a go at it for a living of course, but I suspect that turtle head jokes and knob gags are slightly less in demand than whatever it is I currently get paid for. Anyway, having folk read what I come out with is welcome, so thank you.

The posting of the last day is often greeted with questions around another trip. Well, as ever, right now, we’re going nowhere, and look unlikely to do so by next summer. However I am long enough in the tooth to know that these things change, so we’ll see.

In the mean time, I have teeth to grit and endless working weeks to endure, which currently mean lovely twelve-hour days, and working some of the weekend too. It’s a good job I love what I do so much isn’t it? I’m knackered and I must look it, as Louise refused to let me do any more of the decorating as I “looked like crap”. Well, every cloud has a silver lining then eh?

Oh look, the X Factor is on now. Must go and throw things at the telly.

Till the next time….

Decorating and Digby the Dulux Dog

I suspect it is often quite easy to get a feel for my state of mind and mood by reading both in between and on the lines of these blog updates.  You could search every word for hidden meanings, and every sentence structure for implied nuances.  This week it is really easy to judge my state because….

I have been decorating!

Those four words tell you all that you need to know.  Now, before you have images of me buried in roll upon roll of wall paper, weeks into endless stripping, priming (I never prime by the way) and sanding, I must confess that I did about two hours worth of painting on Sunday afternoon.

The amount of time spent is not the point.  The fact that decorating is even happening gets to me.  Being a control freak Virgo with hints of OCD, the mere existence of disruption in the house makes me uneasy.  I like to make omelettes without breaking eggs if at all possible, and the kitchen and dining room being “upside down” whilst we give it a lick of paint is enough to drive me to drink!!

Louise has done most of the work, and I probably spent more time putting the room back together than actually painting yesterday, but I felt better once the room was as normal as we can get it.

So that is how the weekend finished.  It started with me going to the pub with a group of teenage girls.  This is not, as it may sound, some mid-life crisis episode.  Instead it was me, Emily, Rebecca and several of their friends going to the Railway Pub to see my brother’s band Mustard!

Emily and Rebecca have never seen them so it was overdue.  However, after feeling bruised battered and beaten following the usual working week, topped off with a Friday to beat them all, I did not feel like going.  Louise declined the outing based on the fact that if she were more than four feet from our toilet things might get unpleasant.  So it was left to me to either tell the puppy eyed daughters that I could not be arsed venturing out into the rain, or to bite the bullet and take them and their mates to the pub.

The evening was good once we were there of course.  Rebecca and her friend danced all the way through the first set, which in a pub which was not yet packed, takes more bottle than I ever possessed at 14, hell, even now to be honest.  Our milkman is quite confident though!

Surviving on nothing but pints of Diet Coke, I coaxed my tired frame through to midnight, and the final “Thank you and Goodnight”.  Louise had been home minding Oli, so she may have had the more tiring time of it.

Oli Growing
Not the best photo I know, but if you watch it long enough you will see him grow!

Speaking of Oli, he grows literally by the hour.  Normally when you see someone or something every day you can’t see a difference, but each morning he seems to have added inches and pounds over night.  Those of a certain age will remember the Digby film?  I’m quite concerned at this stage.

Generally though he’s been very good so far.  I do not want to talk too soon, but we are someway down the path now with the house training stuff.  This success has been built on the premise that he now knows that every evacuation, of any variety earns him a puppy treat.  So he is currently “going” about 27 times a day.  This may of course be fuelling the growth we are seeing, but I don’t care if it keeps the house wee free!

He has recently started “wanting to go out” rather than just deciding to do it where he stands, so this is a breakthrough.  Other than a few times when he has a mental half hour, and anyone in a mile radius of his needle like teeth is at risk, he has been very calm and well-behaved.  He is also fully injected up now, so from a week on Thursday he can go out into the big bad world.  We can’t wait.  The girls, as they want to show him off, and I, as it will get them off their backsides and doing some exercise, and it will burn off some of his energy, which might stop the bugger growing!

When we got Oli, my brother and his family came to see him, and their daughter (the one in the photo last week with Kelly remember) fell in love and asked if they could get a dog.  The expected responses of absolutely not were heard, but some two weeks later, they were as strong as I was in their stance, and they picked up Baxter on Saturday!

He is a cross between a Westie and a Shitzu (I think you spell it like that).  We popped round to see him, and he is indeed as cute as, well, a puppy!!  I’m sure he and Oli will be great friends over the years!

In a glass box of emotion (Anchorman reference!)

On Sunday I edged closer to the completion of the latest trip report too.  It has taken forever I know.  We left for this holiday in late July for goodness sake.  But work, the writing of stuff for WDW Dads and this blog have all eaten up time, as well of course as having a real life to do, and a new puppy, so I have plenty of excuses.

I have one day left to do, and it is usually the hardest as it involves the journey home, and the summing up of the trip.  It is at this point that I always say to myself that this report shall be the last, and the online world may heave a huge sigh of relief as they are saved from the onslaught of turtle head and toilet gags.  I don’t know, we’ll see.  It probably won’t matter all that much as we are more likely to visit the moon next year than Florida.  But as you all know, I’ve said that before…probably about ten times in the past ten years.  Anyway, I am stealing my own thunder for the trippie.

For those still interested, I’ll try to get that posted this week, and then my Virgo OCD side can relax knowing that loop is complete, that loose end snipped off, and one more thing is tidy and complete.  I’ll feel better for that!

Now, just the decorating to get finished….

Till the next time…..

And Oli makes five.

I still haven’t managed to mow the back lawn.

I trust you have all been enjoying the wonderful British autumn?  What was it that some famous poet bloke once said (I got an A at English Literature O level you know), it is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness?  My arse.  Once we get into September it is just one long grey miserable drizzle filled mess until the snow comes.  I am sick to death of everything just being moist, dank and grey.

There are rumours of an Indian summer to come this week, which probably means a half day break in the drizzle.

There is only one topic this week to blog about and that would be the new arrival into the Williams household.  After four weeks of waiting, Tuesday evening crept around, and with the girls more excited than a hundred Christmases combined, we set off to the darkest recesses of East Lancashire to collect our new Old English Sheepdog.  The four weeks since we had seen him had resulted in him doubling in both size and cuteness.  His name has been settled since before we even chose him.  Emily had decided upon Oli.  Not Ollie, or Olly, certainly not Oliver but Oli.  This is important, as he is named after someone called Oli Sykes.  I include a photo so you can get some appreciation of what Emily’s bedrooms walls are like!

Oli Sykes
Our Oli is cuter

With a nervy drive home behind us (no-one wants a wee soaked Mondeo), we introduced him to this new house, and to be honest, he settled in straight away.  We were all ready for an interrupted night’s sleep, well, Louise was, as she had taken a few days off to help him get used to us, we did not hear a peep out of him all night.

This was partly due to the fact that Louise and I were not in for most of it.  Louise had been suffering with a painful foot for a day or two, and it chose tonight to flare up into what turned out to be a severe bout of tendonitis.  At around 2.30am, I joined Louise in being awake, and we toddled off to receive the necessary medical attention, in the form of an xray and medication.  If you do need to go to A&E, I would recommend 3.00am on a Wednesday morning as we were seen straight away, and with not one drunk in sight.

After getting a luxurious hour or so of sleep on our return, I zombied my way to work and somehow ambled through the day.  Louise began the constant supervision of Oli.  To be fair to Emily she was up at 6.30am that morning to look after him, and has been every day since.  Her body is in shock, and this can’t last forever!!

My main fear in getting a new puppy (I say main, as I had a few) was the horror of house training.  We’re still under a week in, so I don’t want to jinx anything, but the little fella is doing alright.  We are extremely vigilant in making sure he is taken outside at all the right times, but he is getting the hang of knowing when and where to do stuff.  He is also doing fine during the night in his crate.  All in all it could be a lot worse!

Aside from the chores of looking after him, it is safe to say we have all fallen for him, along with the extended family, and we’ve never had so many visitors as we’ve had in the past few days.  As you can see from the photos he is so cute that he doesn’t look real, and in real life he is all that cute and more.

My Dad in particular seems smitten, mainly as it brings back lovely memories of Kelly, the Old English we had when I was still at school.  I, like Emily, promised to look after her, and so by default, she became my Dad’s dog!!

Dad came round to see Oli, and brought with him a photo of Kelly, with my niece Sarah, who is now twenty years old by the way!!

Kelly and Sarah

The red fridge magnet is a recent addition, as that is where the photo now lives!!  Standby for Oli overload!

Oli 1
First night photo
Oli 2
Oli 3
He's found his spot
Oli sat
He IS real

Louise’s foot has improved a little during the week so she’s been able to chase after him well enough.  I’ve spent more time on our decking in the past week than in the previous several years since we had it built.  It has been drizzling for every single minute of that, and applauding and cheering at every “movement” could be viewed as a little odd, but it is, so I read, a key process in the training of your puppy!  I’ve also learnt that drizzle covered decking allows me to put on my own Bolero most evenings, as I skate around the thing, trying not to triple salco into the latest pile of “Success”.

Today is my turn to settle him in, so I have booked a day off work.  It is amazing how something as simple as that can change your whole Sunday!!  The retribution for that is on Tuesday in the form of a flying visit to London for a meeting.  Yes, four hours on a train, for one meeting….at 4pm!!

I shall leave you with even more Oli, this time in video form.  I will warn you that my camera technique may leave you feeling sea sick, and our decking is a wet mossy mess!  Enjoy

Till the next time…..

No, No, No, No, No….oh alright then Yes.

So I picked up my glasses on the way home from work on Friday evening.  After a very tough week, with some (even though I say it myself) pretty spectacular political shenanigans from me to save one of my team’s job, (they will never know how much they owe me!!), I did what is termed an “early dart”, and was back in Bolton for 5.30, without any form of guilt at all.

Having paid a whopping £2.60 for an hours car parking, I was in the shop for around twenty-seven seconds and back at my car throwing away the ticket, and trying not to be too angry at the vast loss of earnings.

I then spent all evening at home, waiting for someone to notice my change of eye attire.  They didn’t.  Should I commit such a heinous crime when Louise has three hairs dyed a half-tone lighter, and I am on tongue and cold shoulder for the next three weeks.  The reason Louise didn’t notice was that she was stamping her feet, and berating me to get her own way.  This was not for the granting of bodily pleasures, even though Lord knows they are worth berating for, but rather a new dog.

You will know of our Henry and how we said goodbye just a few weeks ago.  So we have been enjoying a little less stress in our lives, as much as we miss the old bugger, and so the thought of a new puppy and all that entails did not strike me as an attractive option.  However, to add complexity to this situation, this new dog request is fogged with the air of guilt, as we (for that read Louise when tipsy) promised Emily a dog if and when she did well in her exams.

It was just my luck then, that this week brought results day, and one way or another, Emily getting the results she needed to get into the sixth form at her current school, to do the A levels of her choosing.  Drat and double drat.  The nerves felt on Wednesday night and on the way to school on Thursday were palpable, and Emily was a little jumpy too.  She didn’t break any records with her results, and didn’t pass her Maths, but this is a Williams family tradition as we’ve all had at least two goes at that one.  But come September, she will start four A levels, Media Studies, Film Studies, Photography and English Literature, whilst re-sitting Maths soon.  Those A level choices will give you a hint at Emily’s strengths, which like mine, are some several miles away from Maths!!

All this cleverness and success meant that we were sort of backed into a corner dog wise.  However, my objections, based on wee, poo, stress and in no small way expense, were aired all Friday evening, and we went to bed agreeing to disagree.  By that I mean Louise and I, who wants a new dog more than Emily!!

There was a nice break from hostilities on Saturday as we cleaned for a good few hours in the morning, in preparation for some guests for the weekend.  Steve and Di, my oft referenced DVC friends, and colleague (Steve, not Di) were coming over.  We had a lovely time, with a lunch at home, with lots of chat around our recent holiday, and Di’s upcoming one, followed by what I believe is termed as a “run out” in the car.

We drove to Whalley, where we had posh coffees in Benedicts, and then allowed Louise and Di to wander the many posh frock shops.  Purchases were made, the full extent of which I am too yet fully appreciate.  It was on this wandering of Whalley that I saw for the first time, the full extent of my new reactor lenses.  I know that sounds all James Bond like, but I had opted for some new fandangled lenses in my specs which turn all dark when the sun shines.

I am yet to be convinced of their aesthetic value, although the lack of squinting is appreciated.  Having seen myself in a shop window, I was a little taken aback, as I do look a little…how can I say…..mentally impaired.  I hope I can get used to it.

Later in the afternoon we had a drive to a local country pub called The Strawberry Duck for beers, wines and shandys, as this was a watering hole that Steve and Di frequented before they defected to North Yorkshire at the turn of the century, and is pretty local to our house.  A lovely day all round.  Now what could possibly improve a day like this?  Well, food!  We ventured to a Greek restaurant in Horwich called Sokrates.  Louise and I had a Mezze, which consisted of lots of little bits of lots of things.  After a lovely meal, with great company, we headed home, and promptly when straight to bed!!  Rock and roll!

So after a lot of sleep we all eventually woke up, and wandered to a local Deli for brunch.  Yep, more food.

Steve and Di left us at around lunchtime, when Louise immediately resumed the head pecking about the dog.  Now, you know I wear the trousers, am boss of the house, say what goes, and absolutely would not bow down to this childish miethering.

So, meet Oli, our new Old English Sheepdog puppy.

Oli the Old English
You had me at peeing on the carpet
He is quite obviously trouble

It is all against my better judgement, but after foolishly agreeing to just go and look, it was no shock to see us leave with one reserved, and a new arrival at the Williams household in about four weeks, once he is old enough.

Emily has chosen the name Oli (after Oli Sykes, who is some tattooed screamo bloke).  Promises have been made about looking after it, and all that stuff, and we will see of course.  Emily also said she’d help!!  I have my “I told you so ” face readied with a smug rating of 100.

We went to a breeder near Barnoldswick, and spent a good few hours, first getting to know the Grandad (of the puppy), who is HUUUGGGEE, but lovely, and then playing with the last two brothers of a litter of eleven.  The Mum made an appearance too, and we had a long chat with the breeders, to the point that we were happy with them.  Emily eventually made the selection from the two, and I drove home with happy females in the car.  It’ll never last.

So we’ve had a busy old few days, with GCSE results, glasses, visitors and silly decisions to buy a puppy, so this will explain partly why there has been little or no trip report action recently.  I hereby promise to do one tomorrow with not being at work and stuff.

Our eating has not improved in any way this week, with a meal out on Thursday to celebrate Emily’s success, and weekend of indulgence with Steve and Di.  Must do better.

Till the next time…..